If you need a dental filling but don’t want it to be visible, tooth-colored composite fillings are appealing alternatives. Composites can also be used to reshape chipped teeth or to fill small gaps between teeth to give you a more even, appealing smile.
What Is a Composite Filling?
Composite fillings are usually formed using a mixture of resins, fillers, and colorants, which are applied to the tooth in layers and “cured." Unlike silver amalgam fillings, composites can be made to match the color of your natural teeth, giving you a more seamless-looking filling than amalgam fillings.
Since the composite bonds directly to your tooth, these fillings require less removal of the healthy tooth, which leaves more remaining tooth structure intact. Composite fillings are also less susceptible to cracking and chipping due to temperature changes in your mouth than amalgam fillings.
How Is a Composite Filling Placed?
To place a composite filling, the dentist will numb the area if necessary and remove any decay. The remaining tooth structure is then etched to create a rough surface for the composite to bond to.
The dentist will match the color of your natural tooth and mix up a composite that is then applied in layers with curing between each layer. Once built up, the filling will be shaped to contour to your bite and look natural and then polished smooth.
For areas needing larger fillings, a semi-direct or indirect filling may be used. These consist of composite that is either built up inside the mouth and then removed for curing or a filling that is manufactured outside of the mouth and cured. This allows for stronger curing and a more sturdy composite filling. Once the filling is cured, it is bonded to your natural tooth.
Why Choose Tooth-Colored Fillings?
While composite fillings are usually more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, they offer a more natural-looking appearance than the metal fillings. They can also act more like a natural tooth, helping to avoid fractures due to uneven stress when biting.
What is Dental Bonding?
Do you have a minor cosmetic issue with your teeth you wish you could have repaired? Have you always thought that cosmetic dentistry was out of your reach?
Minor esthetic flaws can sometimes be corrected using an affordable, non-invasive procedure called dental bonding. Dental bonding can be beneficial for patients who want to avoid dramatic procedures but have some small concerns about the appearance of their teeth.
Which Cosmetic Problems Can You Correct with Dental Bonding?
- Gaps between teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Oddly shaped teeth
- Short or eroded teeth
- Dark silver fillings
- Dark areas on teeth and other discolorations
How Does Cosmetic Dental Bonding Work?
Cosmetic dental bonding is pretty simple. First, we will etch (roughen) the surface of your tooth. A conditioning agent will be applied to prepare your tooth to bond to the composite material. Next, the composite material will be applied in several layers and hardened with a special curing light.
Once the final layer is applied, the composite will be polished and smoothed, blending it with your natural tooth.
Benefits of Cosmetic Dental Bonding
One of the main advantages of cosmetic bonding is that minimal prep work on your tooth is required. That means that your tooth will be left intact, and we will be adding the composite material as needed. Because bonding is non-invasive, you should be quite comfortable during your procedure.
Call our office today to schedule an exam. We will be able to answer all your questions and get you on track to have the beautiful smile of your dreams.